Friday, 06 Nov, 2009 Science
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A Virtual Friend for Autistic Kids

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An unusual invention released by ArticuLab – a virtual friend for autistic children.

More and more children are diagnosed with autism – incurable mental disorder affecting child's ability to communicate with the outer world. Specialists from ArticuLab (a division at Northwestern University) developed a real-size computer-animated friend for children challenged by the disorder. An autistic child is shown a virtual child playing and is invited to join the game. A special video game interface controls the interaction between an autistic child and his or her virtual friend. HP's TouchSmart PC recognizes child's gestures and provides great assistance in the communication process.

Autistic children tend to interact exclusively with video games, thus this latest invention can shed some light on the way they communicate and how their skills can be improved.

Posted by gurk

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